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Warminster teacher leaving for one last time
Long-serving teacher Caz Gillies has retired from her post at Kingdown School in Warminster, where she has taught three different subjects, on and off, for 44 years.
Mrs Gillies, 65, started off teaching music at the school, straight out of college in 1968, when it was a secondary modern and a very different place.
“The uniform was different,” she said. “Funnily enough, it was the same as the new one they are introducing; black blazers for the boys, grey skirts for the girls.
“I was the first female at Kingdown to wear trousers and I had to ask the permission of the governors.
“There was still corporal punishment, but, luckily, not for long. My monthly salary was £55 after tax; not a lot these days.”
Towards the end of her first period at Kingdown, Mrs Gillies, of West Street, Warminster, began studying to be an English teacher at Worcester College.
She studied children’s literature and would later write her own unpublished children’s book, which she once read to a class and was delighted with their interest in the work.
Taking a break to bring up her children – Alison, now a cellist, and Michael, a store manager – she began teaching the recorder and set up a group which played at local festivals. She also took an Open University degree in Music, English and Drama.
Mrs Gillies was asked to return to Kingdown to teach drama part-time, 11 years after she left, and was also a music co-ordinator at The Minster Primary.
Before long she was again teaching English full-time.
She said: “I particularly enjoyed organising the summer concerts for a few years.
“I think I’m most proud of setting up the Haven, somewhere children could go in breaks to get a bit of peace and quiet.”
She now wants to spend time with grandchildren Harvey and Ethan and train her new dog.
Headteacher Sara Edwards said: “She has been an amazing, dedicated teacher throughout all her years of service here.”